Suggestions and Recommendations for IMGs applying to Internal Medicine Residency in the US

Internal Medicine Residency programs lie in the middle between non-competitive and competitive specialties. The number of IMGs constitute about 70% of total applying to IM. IMGs will get more than 55% of the IM spots. About 65% of IMGs who apply to IM will match which is a high percentage compared to other specialties. Meanwhile you don’t need very high scores to get into IM residency however the competition is getting higher and getting a good score is a very logic suggestion. When you study USMLE don’t rush to take the test, instead monitor your progression using this Table.
Doing Observerships is a big plus. Program directors like to interview people who already had some sort of exposure to the US health system. Clinical experience in the US give the programs more confidence about the applicant. I usually advice people with low scores to do 2–3 months in different places to get letters of recommendations.
When applying to residency there are 3 main factors that will determine how you select your programs in ERAS:
  1. Programs Selection Criteria: every program has its own requirements and observing these criteria when selecting the programs will increase the likelihood of you getting interviews.
  2. Number of programs to apply to: This table is developed based on the past 10 years experience in the match, you can reach an algorithm to know what is the least safe number of programs to apply to so you can get a decent number of interviews to successfully match.
  3. IMG friendly or not: Applying to programs where you meet criteria is not enough, as an IMG you should also make sure that these programs interview foreign graduates. You can find the information about each program in this Link as well.
  4. When you get interviews, prepare very well. Common Questions are common. The most important thing is to make the program remember you enough to rank you high to match. To do so you will need to send them the Thank you cards, this will make them remember you and rank you higher in the NRMP match system.